Veteran or veterinarian?

By Maureen Robertson

YOU’RE A WHAT?—Normand Brabant has a sense of humor. Before he participated in the cake-cutting ceremony at the 236th anniversary of the Marine Corps birthday in Ramona Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3783 last Thursday evening, he talked with fifth- through eighth-graders at Ramona Lutheran School. He was one of nine veterans from various branches of the service talking to the students before Veterans Day.

It seems some of the students thought a veteran was a veterinarian, Brabant said. “Now they know we’re not veterinarians,” he said, chuckling.

This is the second year the 89-year-old retired Marine has been the oldest Marine at the VFW’s Marine birthday celebration. “I hope they find someone older next year,” he said. “It’ll be something to look forward to.”

Continuing his witty dialogue, Brabant said that every morning he takes a walk around the mobile home park where he lives. Seeing him each day serves a purpose for at least one park resident. When she sees him, she reportedly says, “it’s time to take my pills. Here comes Norm.”

TECHNOLOGY IN THE SCHOOLS—Ramona school board meetings each month traditionally devote time to showcase a program at one of the schools. This year, Superintendent Robert Graeff has asked the schools to target what’s happening with technology to go along with the district’s focus on 21st century learning. It’s worth a stop at the monthly meetings that generally are held the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Wilson Administration Center Board Room at 729 Main St.

The school presentations are held early in the meetings and they don’t last long, so you’ll be home before 8 p.m., maybe even 7:30. Parents of youngsters experiencing technology in the classroom may already know what’s going on, but the rest of us are learning.

At one meeting, three middle school teachers talked about how they use texting, emailing and tweeting with their students. Then Myles Vandergrift mentioned TED.

TED — for Technology Entertainment and Design — is amazing, and it’s free. Go to ted.com on the Internet and start selecting TED talks. They’re about 18 minutes long and they’re from, as Vandergrift said, “the smartest, most intelligent scientists, engineers and inventors of the world...This is the most phenomenal stuff. I show this to the kids and they’re just — ‘wow.’”

Last month, words like iClicker, Khan Academy, BOBD — that’s not a typo. It stands for Bring Your Own Device —

   
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